Student Spotlight: Alanna Sing ’16

Alanna Sing_resizedAlanna Sing ’16 isn’t your typical student pharmacist. Her love for animals, specifically horses, inspired her to pursue a nontraditional career path of becoming a veterinary pharmacist. This career path will allow Sing to provide services to customers by treating their animals, the patients. Sing has been riding horses since she was five. She joined the rodeo team when she studied at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo where she also earned her bachelor’s in animal science. Her interest in pharmacy peaked after spending three months volunteering at a local community pharmacy. Sing was moved by how well the owner knew all his patients’ names and his dedication to fostering relationships with them.

Sing, a member of the doctor of pharmacy class of 2016, already has a jumpstart on her career. Recently she completed courses required for a certificate in the AmerisourceBergen Good Neighbor Pharmacy Entrepreneurial Pharmacy Practice Program. This past October, the Visalia native received the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Foundation Presidential Scholarship in recognition for her leadership qualities, accomplishments and interest in independent pharmacy, as well as her involvement in extracurricular activities.

“It’s an honor to receive the scholarship because there are so many qualified candidates,” she said.

Though only a few hours from home, Sing couldn’t resist bringing two horses to Stockton. “I ride every day,” she said, adding that she trains her own horses and competes at least twice a month. Her dedication to the sport gives her opportunities to improve her veterinary skills. She explained that medications made for humans have been adapted to treat animals, but there are challenges in administering the medication.

“I’ve found creative ways to treat my horses when they are sick,” Sing said. “Recently I dissolved the medication in their grain, but they were able to tell the difference.”

Sing understands that her dream of owning a veterinary pharmacy could be expensive and challenging but the entrepreneurial pharmacy courses make it seem possible.

“I’m also learning so much from the guest speakers, who are great pharmacists and business people,” she said. “I think it’s a crazy dream but the program is teaching me how to be creative about how I approach it.”


School Receives Cardinal Health Scholarship

On July 7, 2014 Cardinal Health announced a $2 million scholarship to be awarded collectively to the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and eight other pharmacy schools across the country. Yearly scholarships in upwards of $8,000 will be given to students who participate in the Entrepreneurial Pharmacy Practice Program. This program at the School is invaluable to students that are interested in pursuing careers in entrepreneurial pharmacy and with a newly established scholarship to assist deserving students, it’s more attainable.

“We know community pharmacists play a critical role in improving the cost-effectiveness of healthcare, and in helping patients better manage their overall health,” said Mike Kaufmann, chief executive officer of Cardinal Health’s Pharmaceutical segment. “We’re proud to support tomorrow’s community pharmacy leaders through this scholarship program, and we’re inspired by the impact we know they’ll have on their patients and communities, when they become pharmacy owners.”

EntPharmdCertThe Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences was selected for the the Cardinal Health Scholarship because of its successful promotion of independent pharmacy practice through its certification program. The program was established in 2011 after a grant from AmerisourceBergen/Good Neighbor Pharmacy. “This program is unique in the sense that it is part of the curriculum, it is a certification program. The great thing is while it gives students business experiences and background to manage a pharmacy or open their own; it doesn’t extend their time to graduation. That is important from the student perspective,” says Professor David Collum, Chair of the Program. Students learn how to develop their entrepreneurial skills through courses and work experience. They must take the Entrepreneurial Pharmacy Practice course (two units) and an elective (two units). Students learn the skills of the trade through an assigned E-mentor and Off-campus experience in an independent pharmacy.

“When I discovered the PharmD/MBA dual major program at University of the Pacific, I jumped at this exciting new opportunity with dreams of owning an independent pharmacy with a niche that revolves around my patients and their specific needs. Casting back on my graduate business courses, learning from lectures was not rewarding to me,” said Sophie Hoang ’16.

Due to student loans graduates typically have to wait two to three years before they can consider independent pharmacy ownership. Professor Collum hopes the Cardinal Health Scholarship will cut that time in half. Entrepreneurial Program Alumni benefit not only from the certification but also from the networking opportunities with independent pharmacy owners. Faculty also help by putting program alumni in contact with owners who desire to retire and sell their business to a recent Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences graduate. While the program hasn’t been in place long enough to see the long term impact, this scholarship is evidence that the industry is noticing the School and the entrepreneurial program all the while continuing to root our alumni in the leadership that Pacific is known for.

To learn more about how the AmerisourceBergen/Good Neighbor Pharmacy Entrepreneurial Pharmacy Practice Program impacts students click here.